In the blistering cold, the inner circle of the Dane County Democratic Party gathered to salute Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's re-election announcement.
Behind a podium equipped with the same posters he used in 2007 (I think), the incumbent emphasized his accomplishments, including the addition of 64 police officers, a decreasing crime rate, investment in development and increased efficiency in government.
In addition, in outlining his vision for Madison's future, the mayor made clear the city would have to advance a "modern economy" in the face of a Republican state government that may kill high-speed rail, as well as seek to end investment in stem cell research and alternative energies.
He also emphasized his commitment to a referendum on a sales tax increase to fund regional transit. The area needs to move towards more regional initiatives, including a possible regional fire authority, he said.
I asked the mayor if the city was willing to pick up part of the operating subsidy for the high-speed rail project if the state would not. "Absolutely," he responded, although he was not sure how much.
Here is an incomplete glimpse at who was present at the press conference in support of the mayor:
Legislators (or incoming legislators): Spencer Black, Kelda Helen Roys, Mark Pocan, Brett Hulsey, Joe Parisi, Fred Risser, Mark Miller.
Council Members: Bryon Eagon, Paul Skidmore, Joe Clausius, Tim Bruer.
Dane County Board Chair Scott McDonell was also there, right next to his opponent, Joe Parisi. There were undoubtedly many more who I didn't see or didn't recognize.